Onkyo NR929 9.2 A/V Receiver


Setup of the Onkyo NR929 9.2 A/V Receiver

I unpacked the TX-NR929, which, as usual, was well protected in a large styrofoam shell within the box. There was nothing surprising with the low profile, yet sleek appearance - jet black finish with a drop down panel on the front hiding most of the buttons, good ventilation on the top and sides, solid round feet on the bottom. The roughly 41 lb. unit would be temporarily replacing an older Onkyo model in my Strong rack, and as it has the same dimensions it fit perfectly in place. As for the backside of the unit, Onkyo has pretty much stuck with their excellent rear connection layout, meaning that all of my speaker and source wiring was perfectly placed. As I have mentioned in a previous review, I really like how Onkyo has chosen to lay out the speaker terminals across the bottom of the unit in logical order of how the speakers are laid out in the room. It takes most of the guesswork out of connecting the wires should it be difficult to read the labels. The receiver supports 9 fully powered channels, and 11 with the use of an outboard amplifier for full 11.2 surround sound.

The HDMI ports are spread horizontally across the top as well, and since they can be assigned easily in software, it is simply a matter of plugging your sources in and configuring them later. Just above them on either side of the rear of the unit are two WiFi antennas that can be swiveled around much like a wireless router. The TX-NR929 supports 802.11 b/g/n, the latter of only the 2.4GHz variety. Having my home wired for ethernet, I chose to use a cabled connection.

Once everything was cabled up I powered the TX-NR929 on and began initial setup. I plugged in the Audyssey microphone and let it measure for my speakers' distance, level, and size. Despite the fact that I have a relatively new theater in which I tested the unit, I did not install more speakers than I have fingers, so I was unable to put the unit through a full battery of tests involving 9.2 channels of sound. Instead, I currently have a 7 channel GoldenEar system with no additional sub as the two main channels each have an excellent powered sub of their own. That being said, the end result of the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 setup was pretty good - full range front speakers, no sub, and acceptable crossover levels for my center (70Hz), surrounds (90Hz), and surround rears (120Hz). I played around with some other settings, but eventually put it back to the settings as recommended by GoldenEar (120Hz for everything but the L/R channels). Distances and levels were spot on and I did not change these at all. I did set the THX Audio setting for the rear surrounds to between 1 and 4 feet as they are roughly 3 ½ feet apart.

Normally, I would also manually check for any firmware updates that may be available prior to testing. However, I had the opportunity to see a firmware update notification pop up on my screen by itself. The process was completely smooth and rather quick. The screen notification allows you to ignore the update until later, which is almost a requirement because chances are the first time you see such a notification, you are just sitting down to enjoy a movie or some music and were not planning on waiting for a firmware update to occur. When you do accept the update, the process takes some time, but not nearly as long as I recall some older Onkyo units took. It's definitely come a long way from the time of having to use the RS-232 serial port and a PC to run an update!